Saturday, July 27, 2013

Bulgaria Week 2

Haskovo (Xackobo) Bulgaria
July 2013


Thank you for the letters:) I had a lot of emails to read so that takes time. 

It sounds like there are a lot of things going on! So much! I will answer questions first. 

I contact every day haha we walk around & try to talk to people about the gospel. Usually they are not interested at all. But I thought we had a great week because we did 68 Successful approaches hahaha which I guess is a lot? I just speak & testify because that is literally all I know how to do:) I say hello how are you then testify of the Book of Mormon. Then say good bye haha. 

We have taught a few lessons but nothing has come from it yet. But there is lots more to do & I am excited to do them:) 

My favorite time of day & the best thing I do all day is personal study for 1 hour. It gives me the strength & energy & Spirit to get through the day it is incredible. The Lord is here. He gives me strength when I feel I can't do anymore. The people here are great really, but they are just missing the gospel. It takes a toll on my soul. That is when Christ lifts me up. 

I haven't really used chess at all. But we have discovered a chess club here in Hackovo:) so we are going to check it out today:)

With the members.. I don't have any real specific guidelines as to what I am supposed to do. We just run Sacrament. I have thought of all sorts of ideas to excite & inspire people more & such. I have a lot of ideas about a lot of things! I make mention of them at times but I am trying to let my companion lead..:) hahah because he is the boss & I trust him.

Great fun news we found this huge bug in our apartment last night. A cockroach maybe? I don't know exactly oh well.:)

We are working hard but we have not seen any immediate signs of success. But it feels like I have worked so long & so much but it has only been a week! hahah So there more to do:) & I am excited to do it. I just need God's help because I can't find these people to teach on my own. I can't convert these people on my own.

I have been really studying the scriptures & Preach My Gospel. They are incredible, just absolutely incredible. They give me strength & I have been learning to rely on Christ much more.

The language is defintely improving. Understanding is difficult because I don't know a lot of vocabulary that is not church/gospel words. But I can hear things better. 

I can't believe it has only been one week. I am excited to do so much work. I will be here at least 3 months & highly likely more after. But it will depend on what the Lord wants. 

I am so glad to hear about all the wonderful things you are doing. Everything is amazing here, I am praying for you here. Keep me updated. 

I love you all there is so much to tell but I cannot adequately explain. 

I love you,

-Elder Gustafsson

Stay close to the Lord, always keep the commandments, endure trials, show gratitude. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Arrived in Bulgaria Week 1 July 2013

This is my first week in Bulgaria. Arrived on Thursday July 11th 2013
So Mondays (my Mondays haha) are my P-day. Remember I am 7 hours ahead of you there!! 

Dobre, All my luggage arrived safely except from London to England I was forced to take out my lotion, toothpaste, and vaseline,  & throw it away. Which was definitely not a huge deal. So that was all.

Everything is awesome I love it! On the flights we tried talking to as many people as possible so hopefully good comes from those but those are just gone & in the past now haha. 

It is humid here. I am in the city of Хасково (pronounced Haskovo) which has about 50,000 people. There are 15 members roughly but it varies. There is only one other companionship here with us. My companion & trainer is named Elder S. . He is great! He speaks excellent Bulgarian & we get along very well:) Our apartment is nice in my opinion & things have been going great. I have been getting to know the members who are super great & I feel already a strong love for them. 

We have already done a lot of contacting but I hope to do more because I love it! I love talking to & finding people! I have been thinking of & looking for more ways to contact people & be more successful there. 

The members here are so nice & we are already really close to them. There are problems within the Group of members in the past with drama & etc but we aren't focusing on that & I don't even know what they were so hahah tova e! My companion is the Group Leader, which as you might well know, like a Branch President only smaller. So we have some interesting roles here. 

The Bulgarian is... coming haha. I can speak okay but understanding is a whole different world. So with time it will improve:) This city is awesome. It is really clean & nice. The people are super nice. I have been trying the foods I have heard so much about here & they are delicious. I had an incredible opportunity to eat at a members house yesterday. Her name is Didi ( Златка ) & she prepared the most fantastic dinner. I was so grateful because I know what a sacrifice that is. I cannot even explain. It was amazing!

Well we have so much work to do it is awesome! I am trying to work work work work! The other missionaries have commented on my enthusiasm. I hope to not lose it because I truly love it here already. Based on what I have seen & done here already I know God sent me here for many reasons & I will strive to accomplish them.

I will attempt to send some photos. Just note because of the craziness because of the loss of a day I have had no time to do photos & such. Soooo be grateful you are getting some haha:) 

 I love you all so much. I am so glad & happy I am here in Bulgaria. I am so glad to be sharing the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Until next time! 

-Старейшина Густафсон  (Elder Gustafsson)